Stab Magazine | Kelly Slater Opens Up About Sunny Garcia

Now Live: Ferrari Boyz With Harry Bryant (Redux)

4 Views

Kelly Slater Opens Up About Sunny Garcia

“I spent night after night crying, just completely shocked that it happened. I just feel sad. Sunny has such a big heart and he’s really dealt with a lot of pain in his life.”

news // Jun 13, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

It’s been over a month since our 2000 World Champion, Sunny Garcia, attempted to take his own life. Today, Sunny remains in a critical, yet stable condition in an Oregon hospital. According to Kelly Slater, he’s off life support and breathing on his own, but details are scarce as to whether Sunny will make any significant recovery, let alone a full one.

Last week amidst the Margaret River Pro, Kelly Slater caught up with Anthony Pancia from the ABC’s 7:30. As expected, they covered competition, retirement, the pool, even Baywatch, but the most sobering of the discussed topics was when Kelly spoke candidly about Sunny Garcia. 

You can watch the full interview with Kelly Slater, over at ABC’s website, but we’ve extracted a few quotes from the interview below.

“I woke up the morning that it happened to a text message that Sunny had passed away.” An obviously emotional Slater told the ABC. “So, the fact that Sunny is alive in hospital – not on life support currently, I can say that much, he is breathing on his own, we don’t know how incapacitated he will be, but we’ll have to see how that pans out. But the affect on me…I’m still processing it.”

Kelly goes on describing his long-time rival as ‘like a brother’ and mentioning that his oldest daughter, Kaila Toetuu, is his god-daughter. 

Despite holding off his own emotions, Kelly doesn’t shy away from discussing the circumstances which pushed Sunny to a suicide attempt. 

“I always hear these stories and I wonder, ‘Why don’t people talk about the thing,’ because as a human you have interest in these stories,” Slater told the ABC. “You want to hear … you want to hear all the gory details.

“Now that it has happened to a person that I consider to be my brother, I think a lot of it is best left to the family to disclose and talk about.

“I don’t feel like that at all because anything is hidden, I just feel like there is a privacy issue when you have a public person who has done something to try to end their life.”

https://www.youtube.com/embed/j0BCRlk7w5g

“I’ve spent night after night crying, just completely shocked that it happened.” Kelly continued. “I just feel sad. Sunny has such a big heart and he’s really dealt with a lot of pain in his life.”

In a seperate section of the ABC interview, Kelly talks about his earlier years joining the circuit, avoiding drugs and alcohol (which no doubt helped him win 11x World Titles), how he ended up on Baywatch, retirement, and of course, that magic Lemoore wave pool. You’ve seen and read about all of these before, but there’s something nice about hearing Kelly speak about it all so candidly. 

Unfortunately the ABC doesn’t let you embed their clips, but head to their site to watch. 

If you’re feeling down, or need someone to talk to, these are some helpful lines you can call.

Australia

Lifeline on 13 11 14

Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36

US

Beyond Blue on 1-800-3668-288

Suicide Prevention Centre on (310) 391 11253

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

How Surfers (And Skiers/Snowboarders) Could Be Using Buoys Better

Snow in Japan = waves at Pipe = snow in Utah, @PowderBuoy told us.

Apr 22, 2024

How Did Sydney’s Hottest Landscape Architect Stack So Many Clips Less Than 10Kms From Centrepoint Tower? 

Fraser Dovell is a man of culture, taste and jabbing North Av lefts in the…

Apr 22, 2024

Full Frame: The Other Side Of Nazaré

The death of a wave, and the birth of an entire genre of surf. 

Apr 21, 2024

Jack Robbo Double Beats Double John At Margies, Gabriela Bryan Dodges Dolphins For Maiden Win

The cut is finished - WA finals recap.

Apr 21, 2024

Watch: A Leisurely Day With Fingal’s-Most-Wanted Foamball Wrangler

Lungi Slabb and filmmaker Beren Hall offer insight into the exact specs which bring GoPro…

Apr 20, 2024

The Stab Interview: Chippa Wilson

On childhood bullies, surfing bigger waves, the making of 'Zipper', and what's on the horizon…

Apr 19, 2024

Medina Cooked at WSL Judges’ BBQ, George Pittar Flares En Route To Finals Day

Four heats, a nine point ride, and some brotherly tears.

Apr 19, 2024

Ferrari Boyz: Harry Bryant (Redux)

A Land Cruiser, a shitting collie, a tank of petrol, and a wild Haz in…

Apr 18, 2024

Surprise! Margies Ran At Southside Today

No rest for the wicked - day 5 WA recap.

Apr 18, 2024

A Dispatch From The Best Run Of Swell Northwest Australia May Ever See

Three weeks of pumping surf, two decades ago, that changed this writer's life.

Apr 17, 2024

Nichols, Silva + Spencer Cut, Robinson Lives To Fight Another Day

Waiting: a polite term for slowly losing your mind - here's what happened in WA…

Apr 17, 2024

The Pupo Brothers Will Face Off At Margs, And Only The Winner Can Stay On Tour

Let's look at every match-up that will seal a CT surfer's fate.

Apr 16, 2024

THE KING IS DEAD, LONG LIVE THE GOAT

After 30 seasons on tour, 56 event wins & 11 world titles, Kelly Slater has…

Apr 16, 2024

Slater Takes His Last Dance, 7 More Men Axed From The CT

Day 3 WA recap.

Apr 16, 2024

Did Kelly Slater Just Retire?

3 decades, 56 event wins, and 11 World Titles later.

Apr 16, 2024

Goofies Dominate, Ewing Detonates, The GOAT Is Led To Slaughter

Once cut, twice shy.

Apr 15, 2024

The Eddie Gets A New Headline Sponsor, Coca Cola Group Stickers A 2x World Champ, The Tractor Scoops Up 2x SSOTY Winner + SITD Star Parts Ways With O’Neill

The surf industry is showing signs of life — here's a Q1 2024 update.

Apr 13, 2024

The Best Surfing I’ve Ever Seen: Duncan Macfarlane

Covid cleared the lineup while Rasta, Creed and Wade went to work.

Apr 13, 2024
Advertisement